Biophotonics and Medical Imaging

students in lab

In 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays, opening the field of biomedical imaging. Early, crude, set-ups gave way to increasingly more sophisticated systems that provided physicians and researchers with a non-invasive means of gathering data. Limitations with X-ray systems led to exploration of other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum for imaging, as well as to a specialized field of optics. By the end of the last century, X-rays were joined by PET (Positron Emission Tomography), CT (Computed Axial Tomography), and other systems that opened new vistas in biomedical treatments and research.

Today, even more advanced systems are being developed to locate, track, and explore, not merely human tissues, but individual cells and molecules as well. From atomic and nano-scale imaging technologies to sophisticated algorithms for numerical image analysis to non-invasive optical systems that provide real-time imaging of drug dispersal and interaction with target cells, the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering is revealing new vistas in this important field.

The Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering Imaging Facilities Committee has partnered with InnerVision Advanced Medical Imaging to establish a 3 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging facility. This facility is co-located with InnerVision West in the LakeView Technology Center, within the Purdue Research Park, at 3482 McClure Avenue. Magnetic resonance imaging is a non-invasive method that allows physicians to "see" internal tissues by using magnetic fields to interact with the protons in the patient's body. By sharing this facility, local patients, doctors and researchers benefit.